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You mentioned that this is a 2005 but what model? Is it a Camry? Is it a four-cylinder or V-6? When you say the gauges went into the red zone do you have any psi reading and was is on the high side or low side?
Without seeing the exact pressures on the gauges it's hard to give you a definitive answer however based on your description with partial cooling or one side of the dash cooling more than the other side 90% of the time this means that the refrigerant level is low in the system. However you mentioned that the gauge was in the high or red zone that's on the low side that means the system is not circulating the refrigerant properly possibly a compressor issue not bringing down the low side to about 32 psi. My recommendation would be to add enough refrigerant to get the low side on the small gauge that comes with the charge kit down to about 35 psi at 2000 RPM. Paul gauge on the device that you got the parts store that would put it in the Green zone. To reply to the five dollar question that is simply a deposit that is put to your charge card to account for the question. You've not been charged for the question until you apply rating of three or higher if you're satisfied with the information that I have given you. That is just a transaction fee to ensure that the payment can be made once you accept the answer.